What you need to know about Google Calico

Last week Google Calico was announced, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases. It’s a big deal for digital health and means a company with enough resources (both cash and talent) is now behind the search for better healthcare and prolonging life.

Here’s everything you need to know about the new company…

Meet Art, CEO

Arthur (Art) D. Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech and Chairman of Apple, will be Chief Executive Officer and a founding investor. Levinson will remain Chairman of Genentech and a director of Hoffmann-La Roche, as well as Chairman of Apple.

Tim Cook is a fan

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, was quoted in the Google press release saying “For too many of our friends and family, life has been cut short or the quality of their life is too often lacking. Art is one of the crazy ones who thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. There is no one better suited to lead this mission and I am excited to see the results.”

A small long-term investment

Larry Page, CEO of Google, was quick to make sure shareholders knew the investment is small in the grand scheme of things, but the long term potential is huge. And he’s not wrong – they are essentially looking for the elixir of life. And while they won’t make anyone immortal, helping you live to 150 is going to generate a fair bit of cash.

What’s in a name?

Calico is a type of cat, so is the company named after a cat? Because cats have 9 lives? I wish. It would be very Google. Alas, the name is short for California Life Company. Still cool though.


There are no specific details yet as to what they will be working on first and how they will go about it. What we do know is that they will use biotechnology to hack the genome to extend life and cure disease. A big task really, so it will be interesting to see how it breaks down. There is no website yet, so we will have to wait and see.

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